volume 11, number 4
This might be the best surf shot ever taken. There is surf somewhere nearby, no doubt, but more importantly there is Rory Russell’s hand, a dainty coupe of tequila, two lime wedges, a room key, the toes of worn flip-flops and two pairs of what appear to be Raen sunglasses. Rory Russell is underneath the warm chlorine, bathing in the fabulousness of being a surfer and also the fabulousness of being in Southern Mexico. Rory lived on the North Shore of Oahu but even the best, the most hard-charging need to escape in the summer months. He wrote letters home, saying that the surf in Mexico wasn’t very good but that the people were unreal, except “a spaced-out cowpuncher from Texas who keeps following me around and calling me Rio Rascal, the jerk.” Cowpuncher is 1970s slang for cowboy.
And I would have followed Rory Russell around too. I would have sipped his tequila and watched Dallas, subtitled, in his room. We would have laughed about how amazing it is to get paid to surf. Or to write about surfing. And we would have agreed that cowpunchers should stay in Texas. Rory Russell and I would have become best friends and then he would have gone back to the North Shore and I would have gone back to Cardiff-by-the-Sea. We would have both had amazing memories.
As a quick side note, ladies, the ring on Rory Russell’s finger is on his right hand. He was not married. He was open for business. As Steven Tyler would croon, “Dream on, dream on, dream on, dream on. Dream until your dreams come true.” —Chas Smith